The Masked Singer star Joel Dommett thought he was bad at keeping secrets until he began hosting the craziest show on TV.
He had such a good time on the hit ITV series, which features celebrities singing while disguised in costumes, that he would not dream of giving the game away.
“The prospect of not being asked back for series two because I had told everybody who Queen Bee is, is enough of a scare not to tell anybody,” he says.
Queen Bee joins Octopus and Hedgehog in the final which will be shown tonight after being filmed a while back.
Joel, 34, jokes that comedy star Rob Brydon is in for a big and very costly surprise.
“We were at the National Television Awards and Rob went, ‘Queen Bee is definitely…’ I can’t remember the name he said, but it was wrong.
“I went, ‘Ah, really? That’s interesting’, and he went, ‘I bet my house on it’.
“We shook on it and I think I own Rob Brydon’s house now.”
Joel did not learn who was behind the masks until the celebs were revealed during filming, but he had a distinct advantage when it came to guessing.
For the contestants’ speaking voices were disguised when being interviewed but Joel was close enough to hear more.
“I’m terrible at any guessing games or quizzes so I’m so happy I’m hosting it and not a judge,” he says.
“I had the worst scenario, really – while they’re singing I’m backstage working on my next bit so I don’t really get to see them sing.
“But I can kind of hear their real voice. I’m the only person that can hear that. It sometimes throws you off. I was sure Tree was Chris Kamara and then it wasn’t.”
Celebs unmasked in previous shows include footie ace Teddy Sheringham as Tree, TV presenter Denise van Outen as Fox, US singer Kelis as Daisy, and soul star CeeLo Green as Monster.
The identity of contestants has been shrouded in secrecy. During filming they wore visors and hoodies with “don’t speak to me” on.
“If their agent is with them or a stylist then they also have to wear the whole outfit,” says Joel.
“We do have the benefit of it not being live. If it was live we’d be able to work out by everyone’s Instagram where you are and what you’re doing.
“The only people who really know who everyone is are the taxi drivers.”
But there is one finalist who Joel was sure of before the mask came off.
“I knew from the start who Hedgehog was but that was easier for me because I’ve known Hedgehog for a while,” he says.
“I was like, ‘Yeah I know who this is’. That was the only one.”
Joel, who says one finalist has even denied being part of the show, adds: “I was so in the dark about Octopus. When it’s revealed it’s amazing. It’s not who I thought at all.
“She [Octopus] always really holds my hand when the results are happening, it’s so sweet. When you find out who it is I’m like, ‘Oh my God – that’s who’s been holding my hand for eight weeks’. I feel like Octopus is the one that has thrown everyone.
“Their costume was the heaviest. At the start she could only do 15-minute sessions in it and then after the first episode they added in wheels on the bottom. After that she was rolling around having a great time.”
Joel reveals Octopus’s backstage vocal warm-ups were so loud she was asked to quieten down because she could be heard during filming.
Queen Bee’s singing has also wowed viewers. Some think Queen Bee is a member of girl group Little Mix.
“They’ve been an absolute favourite of mine from day one,” says Joel.
“That voice was so beautiful… Even though they were in that silly costume with the Jimmy Carr face.”
The show rests on its big reveals and, so far, it has not disappointed.
With impressive viewing figures, it is set to return for another series.
“Having people like Kelis and CeeLo Green, it’s insane,” says Joel.
“I’ve never in my life, and I don’t think I’ll ever have it again, on the first episode had people tweet me and be horrible, and on the second tweet me and apologise.
“Now everyone’s on board with it and that’s the beautiful thing about it. It’s not cynical, it’s just fun.”
The Masked Singer would not be complete without its judging panel of Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall, Rita Ora and US comedian Ken Jeong.
“It surprised the production staff as much as it surprised me, how much they all got on,” Joel says.
“When you get four massively famous people together, the chances of them all getting on and there not being a particular diva in there, or a horrible person… but there wasn’t.”
He adds he expected Jonathan to be “scarier”.
Comedian Joel is now set to travel the UK on his Unapologetic (If That’s Ok?) tour, and his live show Finding Emo will be on ITV2 next Saturday.
“It’s fun to get back into the stand-up,” he says. Joel married model Hannah Cooper in September, with filming of The Masked Singer delayed by two days so they could tie the knot.
The couple began dating in 2016 after Hannah saw Joel on telly and sent him a cute emoji on Instagram.
“I’m a very lucky boy,” he says. But there’s one thing he wants from his new wife – to appear on The Masked Singer next time.
He says: “It would be the perfect scenario, hanging out with her, and the ultimate ruse.”
- The Masked Singer, ITV at 7pm tonight; the Unapologetic (If That’s Ok?) tour starts in Derby on Wednesday – visit www.joeldommett.com for tickets; Finding Emo on February 22 on ITV2 at 10pm.
Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at [email protected] or call us direct 0207 29 33033